sorghum.jpgThe Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) is on a drive to promote small grain production by negotiating with private grain buyers and the GMB to secure better terms for producers.

 

Production of small grains such as sorghum, millet and rapoko has been on the decline in the past few years, owing to farmers’ difficulties in securing commercial buyers, low producer prices and losses caused by outbreaks of quelea birds.

 

This has led the ZFU and other stakeholders in agriculture to formulate strategies to promote small grain production, primarily to enhance food security in dry areas as well as generating income for farmers.

 

ZFU First Vice President, Mr Abdul Nyathi said it is vital for people in arid regions to grow small grains as they are more sustainable due to their short growing duration and ability to withstand drought.

 

“Starting with the current season, we are addressing marketing constraints,” said Mr Nyathi.

 

The ZFU recently launched a programme to promote production, processing and marketing of small grains in the marginal areas of Zimbabwe.

 

The programme is being rolled out in Matebeleland North and South and Masvingo provinces.

 

Small grain production is considered labour intensive while the harvest per hectare is low compared to other grains.

 

Government is strongly backing the drive to grow small grains including indigenous varieties as they promote food security especially in drier regions.